[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 91°F  
High: 94°F ~ Low: 72°F
Saturday, July 12, 2014

History gains new life

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hi neighbors. There are a couple of new books soon to be available that you might want to check out.

Patrick Brophy, curator of the Bushwhacker Museum, has written a new book titled "Fire and Sword," containing many of his past columns. He chose those columns that were relevant to the history of Vernon County's role in the Civil War and has revamped and updated them all. He has also included some first person recounts of those times that he has gleaned from primary sources.

Although the book is still at the printers and won't be distributed until August 2008, early orders can help defer printing costs. All proceeds go to the Vernon County Historical Society and the Bushwhacker Museum. Mr. Brophy has, as usual, donated his time, talent and efforts for the sake of these two non-profit entities.

To order your copy contact Patrick Brophy at 667-9602. If you would like Mr. Brophy to autograph the book, just add what you want inscribed with your order.

The other book is Clayton Abbott's "History of Cedar County," being re-released by the Cedar County Historical Society. This is a revised edition without the census pages. This version is also fully indexed. For more information about this book, contact the Cedar County Historical Society at P.O. Box 111, Stockton, MO 65785. Sale money from this book will go toward helping the Cedar County Historical Society find a suitable location to re-open their own museum.

They were located in the 150 year old Cedar County jail building, but it was damaged by the tornado of 2004 and repairs didn't work out as planed. The building was demolished and the hopes of finding another one suitable for a museum have not panned out very well.

Don't forget that both Cedar County and Vernon County have Family History Books for sale as well. Almost everyone in these two counties has at least one person in or one branch of their family represented in these family history books.

Many genealogists refer to them constantly. They are valuable resources because they are the actual families relating their history. Of course, as any genealogist would warn you, if they are only based on family oral tradition you must find primary sources to prove the information they offer before considering it gospel.

If you have a love of history, you owe it to yourself to browse around for all the local history books you can locate.

The history of the places you grew up in or have roots in, is your history as well. Knowing something about your family's old stomping grounds is important information to pass on to your children and grandchildren.

You might be amazed to discover that the things important to your own ancestors were important to all of their fellow citizens of any county. The county played an important part in early history. The county seat, Stockton or Nevada for instance, was the gathering point for people to get together to discuss their common needs and make plans to meet those needs.

In the not too distant past, the geographical areas that became designated "county townships" most likely included many families loosely joined by marriages. City and even county meetings might include various branches of intermarried families.

So it was that county militia and civic organized groups were considered the first and/or last line of defense for families.

If your interest is only genealogy, you are missing out on a lot of information about your ancestors. Knowing who they were, when and where they were born, lived and died, is only the tip of the iceberg.

People move for a reason, take up a certain occupation for a reason, go to war for a reason and those reasons are not often simply something they woke up one morning and made a sudden decision about.

As a genealogist, you may have noticed in the census that many of the same families often migrated with your ancestors. Aren't you curious why? Were they all going TO some place or were they all going AWAY from some place? And why did they chose to all go together? Until the next time friends remember, local history is more often than not about the history of your own or related families. As you read about occurrences that happened near landmarks you can recognize today, the past becomes more real to you and your children. Think how great it will be when you can drive your children or grandchildren around Vernon County and tell them stories about the people that lived here over a century ago. Not only will you be giving them a fresh look at history, they may just think you're pretty "cool."